2/10/2018

They are benign!

Good news! Those pesky breast lumps turned out to be benign cysts! I expected/hoped/prayed this would be the case but it's still a relief to have the pathology report. Further good news is that the surgeon was able to remove all of the invaders. (Take that you little monsters!) They won't be bothering me again.

We thought that they would be cysts, but nothing is ever for sure until the biopsy results are back. The real problem is that my family history isn't so benign. My mom had breast cancer and so did a series of aunts and cousins. Many of my relatives have had various types of cancer. So, it didn't really come as a surprise that I would eventually find lumps. However, just because it wasn't a surprise doesn't mean that I wasn't delighted to have the results in hand! I am happy indeed.

So what does this mean? Ladies, it means getting the ta-ta's checked on a regular basis. I will make sure to get the mammograms done on a regular schedule and follow the doctor's advice. It also means celebrating the diagnosis.

So what am I going to do to celebrate?

How about by buying some stuffed animals to help abused or neglected kids? The MLK club at college is collecting them. I think picking up a  could of animals for them is a great way to acerbate. How about you?

2/01/2018

Uh oh. I'm lumpy.

Here's another one to add to the list. On Tuesday, I had a couple of lumps removed. They are probably cysts. The doctor sent me to day surgery instead of just removing them in the office. The whole thing with pre-anesthesia testing, an EKG and lab work seemed like overkill to me. It looks like a little numbing medicine, a scalpel and 20 minutes in the office and my problems would have been solved.

Nope.

One lump was more difficult than anticipated. Had either lump deigned to show up on the mammogram or ultrasound well, then it would have been easier to gauge the size. Your body may cooperate that way. Mine doesn't. So it should be no surprise that I am pretty sore and fussing about it. We should get the pathology report on Tuesday. My doctor and both I expect that the report to show a couple of benign cysts tried to take up temporary residence. Nothing complicated. 

However, the diagnosis is particularly disconcerting given my family history.
My mother went to be with the Lord in October 1995. Mom's breast cancer was officially found in 1990. (I know this because she went in for surgery as my daughter was coming home from the hospital after meningitis.) However, she found the lump and was afraid that it might be a little monster. Instead of having it checked out immediately she ran from it. The insidious beast grew. 

Several weeks later she decided to go to the doctor. He checked it, sent her for a mammogram and declared it to be a cyst. No big deal. Run of the mill. Nothing to worry about. Satisfied, she left. It kept growing and she and the doctor went back and forth a few more weeks about removing it. The doctor finally relented and sent her to a surgeon. That doctor told her it was just a cyst, not to worry. 

That was before the pathology report came back. Adenocarcinoma. Treatment began soon after. Technically, she survived the breast cancer but not the treatment. I remember her saying that a medicine she took for breast cancer could cause uterine cancer in very rare cases. That would have been her. It metastasized from there and that's the end of the story.

Why do I type this?

It's not to whine, moan or fuss. It's not a play for sympathy or empathy. It's to remind everyone that our time here is short. Life is fleeting. It's also to remind  you to take advantage of what life offers and run with it. Sometimes I close my videos with the reminder to "live bodaciously". We only get one shot at life. It's not a dress rehearsal. Go and live it!

Look at it this way. Bad things are going to happen. Good things are going to happen. Change is going to happen. Why not embrace it?

  • For the past couple of years I have tried to do just that. I  have... 
  • Been on a climbing wall
  • Driven the Alaska Highway
  • Sand-surfed down the dunes in White Sands National Monument
  • Gone to movies with the husband
  • Watch the sun set over Mount Redoubt
  • Heated tea in a solar cooker
  • Made new friends
  • Made a 4.0 in a college semester for the first time in my life
  • Crafted a heater out of some terra cotta pots and tea light candles
  • Cussed at my leg brace
  • Watched salmon spawn on Homer Spit
  • Held my husband's hand
  • Gotten kisses from the dog
  • Heard cicadas chirp in the Smokies
  • Helped fire victims
  • Flown a drone
  • Was late to a church meeting (or two)
  • Sat with my daughter when she was in the hospital
  • Watched a chick hatch at my other daughter's farm
  • Seen the stars come out in the Smoky Mountains

In short, I've lived bodaciously and plan to continue. Some of my escapades are on my YouTube channel, some aren't. Chronicled or not, pathology results or not, I plan to continue to live bodaciously. No matter your life or where you are in it, I encourage you to live bodaciously also. Do whatever it is that you've always wanted to do but haven't yet. Don't wait. Life is too short not to live it as best you can, in all ways that you can. 






1/12/2018

Taking my jewelry at the church ladies conference

The day is finally here. I will be taking my jewelry to the church ladies conference at Jones Chapel. Making jewelry helps me pass time in the campervan and is one of my favorite hobbies. Seeing the pieces come together is a little like opening a Christmas present. You sit down to a blank slate of beads, wires and findings. A little while later you have something pretty.

My jewelry won't be sold at a profit at the conference tomorrow. Instead, half of the proceeds will go to support the conference. It's my way of giving back to my home church. I figure it's the least that I can do for the love that we are shown. The ladies pulled my tail out of the fire when my daughter married. I owe them for that big time! But, that's not the only reason for donating to the church.

This church does a lot of work for the community. It has to be one of the most (if not, the most) helpful churches to the community that I have ever been involved with. They feed the hungry, have an annual dinner to benefit Relay for Life, support mission teams - you name it. They just love people and will do whatever for someone. This may sound trite, but it's reality here.

Here are a few pictures of the jewelry up for grabs tomorrow. Some of the pieces are in my Etsy store, but most are only available at the conference tomorrow. Let me know if you see something that you like.